Netherlands: Islam recognized by justice department

The ministry of Justice has recognized Islam as a religion allowed to give spiritual care within judicial institutes.

Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin signed a covenant with the CMO (Contact Body Muslims and Government, Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid). Sixty "prison imams" who had worked freelance and part-time will now become civil servants.

The CMO will set up its own service for Muslim spiritual guidance, whose goal is to keep separate practical policy and theological questions. Together with the new service there will be a religious council which will follow up on which imams are working in prisons and what pastoral care they give.

Mohamed Ajouaou (40) has been functioning since June 1st as the head of the 63 Muslim spiritual caretakers in judicial institutes in the Netherlands. He is a theologist, not an imam. Ajouaou advocates for a modern orthodoxy, in which the Koran, Hadith and other Islamic writings are not only read, but also understood.

Source: Parool (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Imam training leads to disagreement among Muslims

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